British Muslim Cricketer Joins Rashford Campaign to Feed Hungry Kids29 Oct 2020
Activists and faith groups around the UK are mobilising to support the campaign to feed school children led by star footballer, Marcus Rashford.
The mobilisation came after campaign advocated by Rashford to extend free school meals to low-income families over the half-term and Christmas holidays was rejected by most Tory MPs in the House of Commons, drawing criticism and outrage from the country.
Among those supporting campaign is England cricketer Adil Rashid who arranged for distribution of food at his local masjid in Bradford.
“It is our duty to help children from poor and distressed families with food.”
Last week, 322 MPs, all of whom are Tories, voted against the extension of the free school meals for the half-term and Christmas holidays.
With furlough support also expected to wind down even as much of the country preparing for new lockdowns amidst rising coronavirus cases, the ending of the free school meals would have left many children from disadvantaged and low-income families in a dire state.
With Tory MPs blaming parents for their decision to force children to go without food or showing how disconnected they are from reality by suggesting that poor families could shop at Marks & Spencer, it was clear that the people whose jobs are to help people were not going to do any such thing, prompting Rashford and others of similar mind to mobilise.
Among those who mobilised was the Bradford-born England cricketer Adil Rashid.
Working under the slogan of “No Child Should Go Hungry”, Rashid said that 40,000 children in his district alone live in poverty, with many of their families having lost work due to the pandemic.
Rashid joined with the Volunteering Interfaith Programme (VIP) to distribute school meals to children across Bradford over the half-term holidays. The distribution started yesterday at Masjid Quba in Manningham, Bradford.
Mohammed Zubair of Masjid Quba said that the masjid has been helping the vulnerable and the elderly during the lockdown and called on all faiths to join in to help the neighbours who are poor and needy.
Many Others Are Also Joining in to Help
Rashid and his team are not the only ones to mobilise to help those in need. Other, including fellow football stars, have also joined forces with Rashford.
Among those is the Arsenal footballer, Mesut Özil, whose own campaign is providing 1,400 children in north London with school meals. Özil’s campaign, which has been going on since March, was re-energised by Rashford’s campaign and the government’s decision to oppose the free school meals.
Also in London, activists joined forces with the charity Hand On Heart, the Who is Hussein? Campaign, Al-Haadi Hujjat Youth and the Stanmore Jafferys Community Organisation to provide 200 meals for local school children. The meals were paid for by an anonymous donor.
Similarly, the Oxford Central Mosque also announced that it would offer free meals for children during the school holidays in December.
Similarly, many foodbanks associated with the Trussel Trust, a Christian anti-Hunger charity, have also mobilised to ensure that they would have enough supplies to support increased demand from needy families over the winter.
Indeed, in the lead-up to the House of Commons vote on the matter, high-ranking members of Church of England had called on the government to extend the free school meals.
Rashdord’s campaign itself collated all the supporting campaigns and organisations onto a map, showing that generosity does not remain in short supply across the UK despite the 322 Tories who seem to think it is morally unacceptable to help children eat.
These efforts just go to show that past the gloating MPs in the governing Conservative Party, there are many people in the UK who still know the difference between what is right and what is wrong who are willing to prove the Tories, who mocked Rashford for being all-talk-no-action, wrong.